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Mental Health Services Schools

As Americans begin to recognize and address more and more mental health problems, mental health workers are becoming a growing segment of the health care occupation. In fact, employment of mental health counselors is expected to grow 24 percent between 2008 and 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistic projects.

Mental health workers treat patients with a history of psychological problems or disorders and work on everything from life skills and career development to occupational therapy and treatment plans. Because of the intense nature of the work, most mental health workers have formal training from a mental health services school.

Mental Health Services Schools & Careers

Mental health services schools offer a range of degrees including short-term certification programs and traditional four-year degrees. Students can specialize in a counseling area of interest (such as addiction), get a general counseling degree, or study niche areas such as mental health services technology.

The most common job obtained by someone who attends a mental health services school is a counseling position. Specialties include:

  • Individual counseling for mental health problems
  • Couples counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Counseling for aging adults
  • On-site business counseling for people in high stress positions

In addition to counseling positions, other positions available for students who attend a mental health services school include working as a counselor's assistant, a special needs childcare provider, or a community health educator.

Mental Health Services Salaries

The range of pay for mental health workers varies depending on a number of factors, including where the individual works, the type of position he or she holds and the location in the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for mental health counselors was $41,710 in 2009. The top paying industries for mental health counselors included junior colleges ($60,160), elementary and secondary schools ($57,120) and home health care services ($54,090).

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Mental Health Services Schools